Chocolate and your teeth: The good, the bad and the ugly

Chocolate and your teeth: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted on Apr 05, 2015

How many Easter eggs did you eat yesterday? We bet every single one of them was delicious.

When it comes to chocolate, everyone loves it which also means it’s a hot topic that never really fades out of the limelight. So is it good for you? Bad for you? And what does it all mean for your teeth?

Even the hint that chocolate may be the slightest bit good for your dental health has chocolate lovers jumping for joy and understandably so.

Want 3 reasons why that chocolate you ate yesterday is good for you?* Done!

*Catch: We’re talking about healthy, dark chocolate here (that means it contains at least 70% of cocoa).

#1 – It’s all about antioxidants

Before we get stuck into this one, what are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are a group of molecules charged with keeping your body healthy on a cellular level.

Here’s the good news: Good quality chocolate boasts plenty of antioxidants. In fact, it can contain up to four times the level found in green tea (hooray!).

Saliva loves antioxidants and high amounts have been shown to fight periodontal disease.

#2 – Chocolate and polyphenols

Although you may never have heard of them, polyphenols are a class of naturally occurring chemicals with the potential to limit oral bacteria.

As a bonus, they’re also able to alleviate nasty breath and can stop both sugar and starches turning into acid.

But it just keeps on getting better. Polyphenols are thought to boast anti-cancer and anti-flammatory effects and are believed to reduce both hypertension and stroke.

#3 – Chocolate and tannins

They’re found in many of the foods we eat but it’s safe to say most people have never heard of tannins. Basically, they’re plant compounds and are the cause of dark chocolate having that slightly bitter taste and a dark colour.

Research up to this point has shown that tannins can help to stop bacteria from sticking to teeth because their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque even has time to form.